trump-covid-gold-star-families President Donald Trump holds up a swab as he speaks at the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 19, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

“You know, they all came up to me,” Trump said about the Gold Star families and his recent COVID diagnosis. 

The White House has yet to disclose a timeline of President Donald Trump’s first positive coronavirus test. The White House is also not doing contact tracing from the Rose Garden event on Sept. 26, when several attendees reportedly got COVID-19. However, the president speculated today that he could have contracted the coronavirus on Sept. 27 when he met with several Gold Star families. 

“Sometimes, I’d be in groups of, for instance, Gold Star families. I met with Gold Star families. I didn’t want to cancel that,” Trump said in an interview on Fox Business. “But they all came in, and they all talk about their son and daughter and father. And, you know, they all came up to me, and they tell me a story.”

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The event was held at the White House where the president met with family members of deceased US troops. The event was called the Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day. Some of the officials in attendance, aside from the president, included Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, and Adm. Charles W. Ray. On Oct. 5, Adm. Ray tested positive for COVID-19. His diagnosis led to the quarantine of 14 military officials

During the interview, the president explained that Gold Star families got close to him while speaking to him. Trump said he could not tell them not to get close.

“I can’t say, ‘Back up, stand 10 feet,’ you know? I just can’t do it,” Trump added, “I can’t back up… and say, ‘Give me room. I want room. Give me 12 feet. Stay 12 feet away when you talk.'”

Fred Wellman, a former vet and Senior Advisor for Veterans Affairs for the Lincoln Project, said Trump’s coronavirus speculation further proves how the president feels about the military and referenced when Trump reportedly called them “suckers” and “losers”

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“All of the reckless things he did,” Wellman tweeted. “Refusal to wear a mask. Indoor events. Exposure to hundreds that week, but who does he keep focusing on? Military widows and parents.”

The organization VoteVets also stated that Trump’s allegations against the military and their loved ones show, once again, his disdain of Gold Star families, as he did in 2016

This is beyond the pale,” they said. This is just the latest example of Donald Trump disrespecting Gold Star families. They deserve the truth from the White House, whatever that truth may be.”